The seeds of PowerWorld Simulator were planted in the early 1990s, when Professor Thomas Overbye of the University of Illinois saw the need for a better tool to help students understand the workings of large-scale power systems. The software of the day relied heavily on numbers and charts that required further interpretation and explanation. Missing was a visual experience that could be easily understood.
PowerWorld Corporation was founded in 1996 by Professor Overbye, two of his colleagues, and a doctoral student in the University’s Power and Energy Systems research area. Professor Overbye continues to provide guidance and vision and is intimately involved with the design and development of our software. He has attained numerous accolades in academic and business circles for his contributions to teaching, research, and the commercialization of technology, holding a University professorship sponsored by business leaders and philanthropists Peter and Kim Fox. The erstwhile doctoral student, Mark Laufenberg, PhD, still serves as our president. Professor Overbye has since been elected to the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his work in the integration of visualization and analysis tools for power systems.
We’ve since grown and our tools are fully commercial-grade, but our original foundations of simplicity and best-in-class visualization still guide the development of every element of our software and our approach to power system consulting services. We now have over 1,000 customers in 70 countries, representing electric utilities, independent system operators, government agencies, generation and transmission developers, power marketers and traders, legal and policy consultants, and academia.